Energy Saving Light Bulb

       It is all about energy saving light bulb/lamps for lighting.

Edited by Lim Siong Boon, last dated 22-Jan-2012.

email:    contact->email_siongboon  


Topic Discussion Overview

  1. Lamp Characteristic
  2. Various Lamps Technologies
  3. Color Temperature
  4. Lamp Shape & Base


1. Lamp Characteristic


LED is the latest lightings technology in town. I was excited about LED lights for the energy efficiency it can bring. Using less energy to light up the place. After exploring the technology, and conducting a series of experiments, I realised that LED is not as wonderful as I think it should be. The truth is, not all LED lighting lamp is efficient. It depends mainly on your application. Fluorescent lamp can have efficiency equal or better than LED lamp. For some applications LED will be better.

The following presents a list of energy saving lightings products that I have considered the best among the other alternative solution. The list consist of LED as well as fluorescent, because some fluorescent bulb solution can be as good or even better than LED bulb in terms of energy saving.

With a better understanding about the lighting technologies, it can help you make a better economical choice towards saving your electricity bill. The subsequent sections will present various energy saving products and some detail analysis. Alternative technologies will also be presented in a table format for easy comparison.

Most of the solutions that are presented are products from saveOne. The company has a strong focus in energy efficient products. Most of the efficient lightings or energy saving solution can be found there, be it LED or fluorescent. They also provide experiments and measurements to allow consumer to have a better understanding of various light bulb technologies. Some of the informations is made available for comparison with the help from their technical support. Besides lighting products, the company also sells other energy saving products. The main focus here is only on the lightings, so let us begin.

Dated : 2011-02-15

This was the very first set of LED bulb that I have tested. My boss actually wanted to showcase LED bulb in our smart home.

(Click image for larger view)  
There is this two model that caught my attention. One is 12W and 7W model.
This 7W LED bulb measures to be about 6W
This model measures about 8.9W
This is a 12W CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulb and the consumption is 11W

The power consumption is a bit lower, but the Philips LED bulb price is quite high. The price that I have purchase at that time is about $40++. This is about 8-10 times price difference when compared to a CFL bulb (compact fluorescent lamp, or energy saving bulb).

These LED bulb do generate some heat. You can easily see it from the way the bulb is designed. Between the bulb and the screw, you can find the heavy chunk of metal. This is actually the heatsink which helps to dissipate the heat from the bulb. The lamp uses high power LED. These LED can generate very bright lights, but at the cost of the heat produce. Not all the electrical energy is converted to lights.


LED Ceiling Lamp

Product code: LEDCL2417

LED ceiling lamps

LED Ceiling Light (Surface, Round, 98*LED)
Wattage: 8W
Color: Daylight (6500k)



available from

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd, Singapore,




My home toilet is bright using the LED ceiling lamps. (Installed on Jan 2012)

The LED ceiling lamps is make up many small LED bulbs. This 8W LED ceiling lamp provide brighter illumination at the center than the old CFL. The old 18W CFL (E27 base) that I used to have provides a brighter illumination on the ceiling than the LED lamp. There are pro & cons. LED is rather directional which is why the ceiling looks darker. However lightings to the floor area is very bright.

This LED ceiling lamps uses many little low power LED bulbs. The heat generated by these low power LED bulb is insignificant when compare to the fluorescent lamp. They do not generate heat, and no heat sink is required. The low heat lighting also means that the components and material can last longer when compare to heat generating lighting technology. In short, low power LED lightings is more efficiency compare to high power LED, fluorescent and other lighting technologies.

Measurement (for 8W LED ceiling lamp)

LED ceiling lamps
Current: 0.049A
Power Factor: 0.61


Measurement (my old 18W CFL bulb that was used to be in my toilet)

Wattage: 18.3W
Current: 0.118A
Power Factor: 0.664

There are other type of LED lamps that uses high power LED. These lamps uses only a few high power LED bulbs but can dissipate quite high heat. High power LED requires a heat sink (usually aluminium material) to be attached which helps to disspate heat.


LED Ceiling Lamp

Product code: LEDCL4015

LED Ceiling Light (Burger, Round, 208*LED)
Wattage: 15W
Color: Daylight (6400k)
Size: Dia 350mm



available from

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd, Singapore,



2012-05-16 Upgrade My Kitchen Ceiling lamp.

I have been using the saveOne electronics ballast to power up my 2x kitchen's ceiling fluorescent lamp for about 2 years. I wanted to change these fluorescent tube to LED but they are still functioning good. Finally one of the fluorescent (I think it is at least 5 years old) dies off. The very next moment, I ordered 2x LED ceiling lamps. Finally my kitchen is upgraded to LED.

The LED lamp itself is make of plastic, and the weight is very light. It is easy to install. I have managed to reuse the mounting holes from my old lamp by drilling holes on the plastic LED lamp base.

The lamp that is nearer in the picture is the new LED burger lamp that I have installed. The further end is the old fluorescent lamp powered by the energy saving electronic ballast. I wanted to compare the two type of lamp side by side before I change both my ceiling lamp to LED.

The LED version is very bright. Brighter than my old fluorescent lamp.

Another photo taken. The exposure is less, and we can see both the lamps clearer.

You can click on the photo for a larger view.

Lamp view from bottom up.

This is the 15W LED lamp with the cover removed. You can see that it consist of many little LED bulbs. They do not generate much heat even when operating for a long period of time. Your environment temperature can be a little cooler because of this lighting.

Typical heat generated by a magnetic ballast can be very hot. You can try to touch your magnetic ballast after operating for 10 mintues at home. It will be very hot.

The actual lamp with its plain cover.
A close up view of how the inside looks like. There are a total of 208 small little LED bulbs.

Both my kitchen lamp used to be powered by magnetic ballast. The consume was about 40W for each lamp.

The changed to electronic ballast has reduced the energy consumption to about 25-27W.

The installation of LED lamp has reduce the consumption to only 15W. This is only 38% of my old 40W lamp. These LED does not generate much heat, through expected to last longer as well. Bright and efficient, I love it.

Next LED lighting to go will be my rooms.


available from

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd, Singapore,


Other interesting LED ceiling lamps products.

These lamps are integrated with motion & LUX sensor. The lamps gets to operates in the dark. When the lamp sense motion, it will switch on it's LED light automatically. When there is no activity for about a minute, it will switch off the light automatically. These features makes it suitable for your storage room, toilet and corridor.
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Electronic PL lamp bulb G24 base (PLC)

Product code: CFLSI2154


Lamp base: G24
Wattage: 15W
Color: 6500k, Daylight


click here for product brochure


available from

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd, Singapore,




Dated: 2012-01-15

It was quite difficult for me to accept the fact that in this technological era we are still using lighting technology that are so out dated. I was not so aware about our current lighting products and technology, until I had this chance to conduct experiment on saveOne's product.

At first look, this product is no difference from the PL bulb that we normally use in our home or office building. I did not understand what is so special about this product, until I do my some market research.

The current PL bulb that we have in our home or offices actually uses the old magnetic ballast technology. It works exactly the same as a typical magnetic ballast with a normal fluorescent tube. You can read something about the old fluorescent technology here.

The old fluorescent technology requires 3 components to work.

a starter , a magnetic ballast and a fluorescent tube to work.

This old technology has a number of disadvantage.

- Use more electricity energy.
- Need to wait for the starter to kick start the bulb.
- Generate more heat due to inefficiency (draw in more current).
- Operating at lower frequency.

The typical PL fluorescent bulb from Philips that you can find in the market does not requires external starter. Most consumer will find it a very convient product over the conventional fluorescent that requires a starter to operate. What most the consumers do not realise is that it is no difference from the old traditional inefficient fluorescent bulb.

So where is the starter? The reason that you don't get to see any starter in the setup is because the starter has already been built into the bulb itself. A typical fluorescent tube has 4 pins. PL bulb has only 2 pin because the 2 other pin is used for a mini starter installed below the tube (near the socket). This also means that if either the tube or the starter component get damaged due to wear and tear, you will have to replace the whole PL bulb. The old setup allows you to change either the starter or tube if one of them is not working. PL bulb is easy to use but there is wastage. Not that eco-friendly. A working tube can ends up in your trush bin, just because the starter that was integrated into the PL bulb was not working.

Click on the photo to enlarge the picture.

One of the saveOne PL lamp setup. (click to see a larger picture of this setup)

Click on the photo to enlarge the picture.

The typical PL lamp setup. What is inside a typical PL bulb? (click to get a larger picture of this setup)


You can easy tell if you have the old PL bulb install in your home/office. The lamp will flicker on and off for a few seconds before it can be fully turned on. The flickering is actually cause by the starter's attempts to start up the lamp.

So what is so special about saveOne PL lamp?

Let's do some technical measurement, to explain the differences.

This was a measurement that I took, comparing saveOne PL with a typical PL lamp + magnetic ballast.


Lamp Photo Wattage Current PF
10W saveOne PL bulb saveOne 9.1W 0.066A 0.63
typical 10W PL bulb + magnetic ballast 14.3W 0.158A 0.38


saveOne has designed the electronics to replace away with the magnetic ballast and starter system. The electronic control is more efficient consuming only 9.1W during the measurement. The PL lamp consume 9.5W at start up and drop down to 9.1W (steady state) after the tube gets to warm up. In contrast the typical PL bulb begins at 13.9W and rise up to 14.3W during the steady state.

saveOne PL lamp is driven by electronics. Users do not need to worry about the type of ballast to match with the lamp. The magnetic ballast PL bulb has a typical higher wattage consumption; this is especially true if the magnetic ballast is not match to the fluorescent tube wattage. In some cases, it wattage consume can even be higher. For the best efficiency in brightness, power consumption and lamp's lifespan, the typical PL lamp has to match with the ballast of the correct wattage.

The current drawn by the magnetic ballast setup is also higher at 0.158A. Compare to the saveOne PL bulb 0.066A, it is about 2.4 times higher. The reason why a magnetic ballast draws more current is because of its inductive nature. Inductive load is actually an energy storage device and will draws/returns more current than its actual consumption. Unconsumed energy will be returned to the grid. This results in a higher current flowing through the magnetic ballast. The higher current flowing through a finite cable diameter will generate heat compare to a efficienct bulb that uses less current. These are actually energy losses. If you attempt to touch a magnetic ballast after switching your lights on for about 10 minutes, you will feel how hot it can be.

The power factor for the saveOne PL bulb is high at 0.63; the reason for the low current drawn. Power factor of 1.0 (which is the maximum possible reading) indicates that a device will draw the actual current it needs for its operation. Higher power factor means better efficiency.

The heat generated from the magnetic ballast is a waste of energy, and will tends to wear out the various component more. The heat will have indirect impact on the environment temperature and aircon electrcity wastage as well. If you feel the heat surrounding the old PL bulb, you can feel the heat. When you change old PL bulb, you might also find that the tube has the tendency to drop off from the base or the glass tube can break easily. These wear and tear can also expose the dangerous mecury content inside the florescent tube, which will contaminate your home/office environment.

saveOne PL lamp uses electronics to switch the fluorescent lamp. The higher operating frequency also plays a part in the efficiency of the lamp.

The saveOne PL bulb replacement over the old PL bulb is easy. There is no need to do any rewiring. Simply change the bulb. The electronics built into saveOne PL lamp is able to work with existing installed magnetic ballast. I was sceptic about its claim and also did a measurement on its performance when it is used with a magnetic ballast.

Measurement (for saveOne 10W PL bulb + magnetic ballast)
Wattage: 8W
Current: 0.042A
Power Factor: 0.74

The result was quite unexpected when I first do the measurement. The performance is even better without removing your existing magnetic ballast. This product is designed specially for consumer using the old magnetic ballast PL lamp, helping them to switch over to a more energy efficient saveOne PL lamp.

Click to enlarge the picture.

saveOne PL bulb setup without removing your existing magnetic ballast. (click here to see a larger picture of this setup)


Even though the magnetic ballast was installed with the saveOne bulb, it does not generate much heat as compared to the old PL bulb. This is much expected with the low current that the bulb is drawing.

saveOne tube is designed in a spiral shape which allow more lights to be projected out. The fluorescent tube also contains triphosphor material which allows the tube to generate brighter light using less electricity energy.

This patented product from saveOne really earns my respect for the innovation that they have put in the area of energy saving. It changes my views about the old lighting technology that we are still using in Singapore. Many places are still using the olf PL bulb.


See the following comparison table for more information.


Buy this Energy Saving PL Lamp Now at the PIC-store


Comparison among various energy saving lightings for PL fluorescent lamp. (updated Jan 2012)



Name Electronics
PLC Lamp


PL Lamp

Lastest Energy Saving Lamp 15W 12-18W 18W
Electricity Energy Cost Per Year
see footnote.
$36.25 $29.00 - $43.50 $43.50
Electricity cost saving per month
(when the old magnetic PL lamp is replaced)
$0.60/mth = ($43.50-$36.25)/12 $0 - $1.21/mth = ($43.50-$29.00)/12  
Lamp Cost about $8-12 about $30-50 about $4-6
Fast ROI
(Return-On-Investment, when replaced with ballast + PL Lamp)
Lamp Cost Electricity cost saving per month
about 13 months about 25 months
Brightness Triphosphor
Lower Heat Generated magnetic ballast generate a lot of heat.
Easy to Install/Replace
Low Maintainance Cost
Instant On (no need starter) `
Safety (robust mechanical design) robust tube design no mercury content crack easily and loosen due to heat stress
Integrated Ballast (save space) external ballast is required
High Power Factor magnetic ballast has low power factor
Estimated Lifespan 7,000hr 30,000hr 7,000hr
Brand name in Singapore
- Philips
- PowerPac
- saveOne

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd

(assuming 24 hour operation per day, base on Singapore's Electricity Tariffs rate of $0.2759 cents as of Jan 2012)
Electricity Cost Per Year = Bulb Watt (W) x 24 Hour x 365 days 1000 x Electricity Tariff Rate ($/KWh)




Energy Saving T8 fluorescent tube


Product code: FLRSL1644
saveOne Pte Ltd

Lamp base : T8
Length: 4ft
Wattage: 16W
Color: Daylight (6500k)

click here for product brochure


available from

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd, Singapore,





When I first got to know of this energy saving T8 fluorescent tube, it looks just like any ordinary T8 lightings. I have learned over a series of measurements and experiements that this is no ordinary T8 fluorescent tube. It has the performance comparable to a LED T8 tube, but at a cost much lower. The design also overcome some of the shortcoming of an ordinary fluorescent tube that are available in the current market. These have make it one of the most efficient and economical lighting tube among the rest (LED T8 and T5).

Taking a closer look, the product is actually a T5 fluorescent tube, covered with a protection covering. T5 is quite well known for its lighting efficient. The T5 tube is coated with triphosphor material helps the tube project out more light using less energy..

The product's covering provides an extra protection over the fragile tube to reduce contamination due to the leakage of mercury vapor; a common substances that is contain inside all fluorescent tube. This protection is especially important in the kitchen area where food preparation work will be done. It is also desirable for low ceiling workplace where the tube can easily be damaged. Mercury is a health hazard substances, and it important that we handle fluorescent tube with care. The covering design reduce the chance of mercury containmination.

Actual measurement was conducted shows that the wattage of this product has the same wattage consumption to a typical LED tube. This energy saving performance comes from the electronic ballast that is integrated into the lamp product itself. With the integrated electronic ballast, the tube can be connected directly to your Live and Neutral electrical wire. This simplifies the electrical connection. It means that you can save more space. A normal T8 or T5 fluorescent tube which requires a starter and external electronic/magnetic ballast in order to work with, and this will take up precious space.

Normal T8 housing can be very bulky. Magnetic ballast, starter and starter holder are housed inside the enclosure.


Space saving T8 fluorescent tube socket for direct electrical connection. Useful for ceiling/wall cove lightings where space are very tight. Setup is cheaper as well without the enclosure, starter, starter holder and magnetic ballast.


The product's built-in integrated ballast is also designed to work with your existing magnetic ballast. This means that you do not have to change any wiring or remove the magnetic ballast from your existing setup. Simply change the old T8 tube with this new energy saving tube, and remember to remove away the starter. The new lamp turns on its light instantly without the need for any starter.

You might wonder that with the magnetic ballast working together with this new product, will it affect the energy consumption? I had the same thought as well. Measurement were taken. By using the magnetic ballast together with the product, it has insignificant changes to its performance and energy consumption. In fact the power and current drop a bit. These can be explain by the measurement result which will be presented shortly.

The power factor of the ordinary T8 tube setup is poor. This is mainly due to the magnetic ballast which is an inductive component (which is only wire coil). The poor power factor results in higher current being drawn from the electrical grid. The current drawn is 4 times higher than the saveOne's T8 energy saving product. With such a high current flowing through the magnetic ballast, it will generate heat. This is also why it feel burning hot when you try to touch the magnetic ballast which has been operating for more than 10 minutes. This is wasted energy as a form of heat. The heat also affect your environment temperature indirectly.

In contrast, this energy saving T8 lighting product uses much less current. Less heat will be generated. Even if this low current flows through your existing magnetic ballast, it will not generate much heat. The low current is transparent to your existing magnetic ballast; there are no loss.

This is a ordinary T8 fluorescent lamp using a magnetic ballast.

The temperature is 71.8C is taken just behind the casing housing the magnetic ballast. It is so hot even on the outside. You can imagine how hot is the ballast inside.

The whole lamp housing was removed from the ceiling and is placed on the floor. This ballast has been resting for about 10-20min. The temperature reading taken on the magnetic ballast surface is still hot at 61.0C.

Click on the picture to enlarge.

A big contrast, another ceiling lamp housing was fitted with the saveOne T8 energy saving fluorescent tube. The magnetic ballast is still inside. Starter was removed and no wiring change was done. It has been turned on for the whole day. The temperature reading behind the lighting enclosure is only 35.0C. This is only slightly more then the normal room temperature in Singapore. The heat is propably only from the fluorescent tube itself. The fluorescent tube itself when switched on, do produce some heat.

  As we can see, the drop in temperature is quite significant. The generated heat from the old T8 is simply a form of wasted energy.


The following measurement result shows that the power consumption for the saveOne T8 product is almost the same as a typical LED T8. Given the similar performance, the ROI (return of investment) of the product will be much better because the LED cost is high.


Lamp Photo Wattage Current PF
saveOne T8 fluorescent tube saveOne Pte Ltd 16.1W 0.082A 0.953
LED T8 tube 16W 0.080A 0.952
ordinary T8 fluorescent tube 43W 0.429A 0.439

Note: wattage various around 36W- 45W depending on the magnetic ballast


The product has indeed impressed me for its efficiency when compared to a LED T8 tube. I have also done up a product comparison table to compare against other type of lightings solution to replace the old T8 magnetic ballast fluorescent lamp.

See the followings for more information on the comparison between more types of alternative replacement solution for T8 lightings.


Comparison among various energy saving lightings for T8 4FT fluorescent lamp replacement. (updated Jan 2012)

Description saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd



Name SuperTube LED T8 to T5 Adaptor Electronic Ballast Magnetic Ballast
Lastest Energy Saving Lamp 16 - 20W 16 - 20W 23 - 28W 28 - 40W 36 - 45W
Electricity Energy Cost Per Year
see footnote.






Electricity cost saving per month
(when the old T8 tube is replaced)

$4.03/mth = ($87.01-$38.67)/12mth

$4.03/mth = ($87.01-$38.67)/12mth

$2.62/mth = ($87.01-$55.59)/12mth

$1.61/mth = ($87.01-$67.67)/12mth


Lamp Cost about $18-$25 about $60-$90 about $12-$18 about $8-$12 about $5-$9
Fast ROI
(Return-On-Investment, when replaced with ballast + PL Lamp)
Lamp Cost Electricity cost saving per month
about 4-6 months about 15-22 months about 5-7 months about 5-7 months
Brightness Triphosphor Triphosphor
Lower Heat Generated
Easy to Install/Replace
Low Maintainance Cost
Instant On (no need starter)
Safety (robust mechanical design) protection against mercury leakage no mercury content
Integrated Ballast (save space)
High Power Factor
Estimated Lifespan 7,000hr 30,000hr 7,000hr 7,000hr 7,000hr

Brand name in Singapore
- Philips
- AZ e-lite
- Megaman
- PowerPac
- saveOne

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd


saveOne Pte Ltd

28-32W electronic

(assuming 24 hour operation per day, base on Singapore's Electricity Tariffs rate of $0.2759 cents as of Jan 2012)
Electricity Cost Per Year = Bulb Watt (W) x 24 Hour x 365 days 1000 x Electricity Tariff Rate ($/KWh)



As based on the comparison among various lamps technology, the latest energy saving LED and SuperTube lamp are both very energy efficient lamp.

LED is known to last longer than the fluorescent technology but the cost of the lamp is much higher. That is why the ROI (return on investment) is poor when compare to the fluorescent technologies.

The fluorescent technologies have similar ROI although the cost price is different. This is because the new fluorescent design has achieved an efficiency close to the LED technology..

SuperTube design has a cost slightly higher, but it offer more electricity saving, with a better protection against mercury contamination than the other fluorescent technology.

In terms of cost and efficiency, the SuperTube lamp offers a better choice over the lamps. If you are interested to find out about saveOne's SuperTube lamps, you can contact them or visit their office for a demonstration or an experiment experience.






Product picture taken from saveOne Pte Ltdand



LED candle and chandelier bulb (compare to incandescent bulb)


Lamp base: E12, E14
Wattage: 0.3W (candle bulb 6xLED) , 0.6W (candle bulb 12xLED), 3W (chandelier)
Color: Red, White, Warm, Green



available from

saveOne Pte Ltd

saveOne Pte Ltd, Singapore,


I love these LED candle bulb. These E12 bulbs are usually used for the praying lamp on our Taoist altar table. It simulate the olden days of using candle flame..


Candle bulb with its holder.

A simple altar table using candle bulb.


Compare to the normal incandescent bulb 16W, these LED bulb only uses 0.3W. That is about 50 times saving in energy. The incandescent bulb can be very hot after turning on for a few seconds, and these can be quite dangerous especially with naughty children running around the house. These LED bulb remains cool after operating for the whole day. The lifespan of these LED bulb is much much longer compare to the incandecent version.

LED candle bulb (0.3W, E12), cool and longer lifespan Old type, incandescent bulb (16W, E12), very hot and short lifespan. Cheaper.


The old incandescent bulb cost less than a dollar, a lot cheaper then the LED bulb which cost about S$5 to S$8. Considering the 16W energy that the incandecent bulb will consume, it will actually cost more to maintain it. This is even more significant if you operate the lamp for 24 hours per day. The electricity bill that you save within 2 months of operation can easily help you recover the cost of the LED bulb purchased. Per bulb would have save you about S$3 to 4 base on the electricity tariff rate of S$0.30/Kwh. Lifespan of incandescent bulb can be short, as the heat and frequent switching on/off can burn off the filaments inside.

For these LED bulbs the brightness is lower and will not be suitable if you have a lamp covering. The cover will reduce the brightness. Considering the energy saving, temperature, safety and lifespan that this LED bulb brings, it is a much more economical choice over a incandescent bulb.


Buy this LED Candle Bulb Now at the PIC-store





Another great bulb that I will like to introduce is the LED chandelier bulb which uses only 3W compare to the incandescent version which uses 40W.

A LED chandelier bulb (3W E14), hot but much better than the incandescent bulb. The LED bulb when it is switched off.


The photo on the left is an old incandescent chandelier bulb (40W E14), very hot and short lifespan. You can see the thin filament inside the bulb.


This LED incandescent chandelier bulb uses a high power LED. The light is very bright and look very much like the incandescent bulb's filament. The high power LED bulb do generate some heat but it is a lot less than the incandescent version. This LED bulb 3W uses about 13 times less energy than the conventioanl incandescent bulb of 40W.

These LED bulbs are worth recommending for their higher effciency, lower heat generated, safer and longer life span over the conventional incandescent bulbs.


Buy this LED Chandelier Bulb Now at the PIC-store
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LED lighting strips


Lamp base: Bare wire strip
Wattage: 4.8W, 9.6W, 14.4W, 28.8W per meter
Color: White, Warm, Green, Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Purple, Cyan, Pink, RGB multi-color

LED bulb: 5050, 3528
Package: IP67, IP65, IP44

1meter/reel, 50mm cuttable section

30/60/120 LED per meter








Last updated: 2012-03-13

LED strip is getting more and more popular nowsaday. Unlike other lighting, the led strip is very flexible allowing it to bend over corner and curve. They usually comes in a roll of 5m per reel and can be easily extended or cut to length in a section of 50mm.

There is usually a black line to indicate the cutting point. The line is usually between the copper pad.

You can actually cut anywhere along the strip. If the strip is not cut on the indicating line, you will end up losing about 3 LED at the strip end not lightting up. This is because the strip is usually design to have 3 LED connected in a series circuit.


The installation and wiring is very simple. It using a low voltage of 12V which is very safe to handle. There are also strip using 24V. You will not get electrical shock by touching the pair of 12V wire using your bare hand; neither will it cause nasty short circuit when it gets in contact with water. This make it suitable for installation near water or where it can easily get in contact with water or the user. Special area like toilet basin, aquarium tank lighting, floor area, bed side and lower section of the cabinet. It is much safer than any 230Vac lighting; about 20 to 30 times lower.

There are many style of installing the strip. You can lay the strips simply on the shelf. Some strips has sticker/adhesive tape on its back, allowing it to sticks itself to most surface. Remember to clean the surface before sticking the strips on it. There are also accessories which you can extend or secure the strips. The strips allows installation where traditional lamp installation is not possible.

Non-silicon jacket strip comes with adhesive on the back of the strip.
Mounting silicon bracket accessories to secure the LED strip.

Connector to extend the LED strip.

Another type of connector design.

Connector can be used for the wire as well.


The LED strip comes in a reel of 5m and comes with a wire dangling from both end of the strip. The strip can be cut into length. If a connection is required after the cut, there is also a connector available to join up the strip.

The connection is simple and quick. No soldering of strip or wire will be required.


LED strip's socket to fit to the typical power supply adaptor's DC barrel jack (OD=5.5mm, ID=2.1mm)



The strip is usually drive by a 12V switching regulator or power supply adpater. Like a battery, you should never short the positive and negative terminal of power adapter; the adaptor can be damage. A 12V power supply adaptor comes in various current rating. A longer strips requires more energy to light up, therefore a higher current rated power supply will be needed to drive it. A meter of 14.4W strips requires about 1.2A. If you are getting 3 meter, the current needed will be about 3.6A. The power adaptor that will be required has to be a minimum of 12V 4A. Usually I will give the power adapter more buffer. A rating of 12V 5A or more will be safer. If you use a lower current rated supply, for example 12V 2A, you will likely to cause internal damage to the power adaptor. Higher current rated power supply is better in performance, but is generally more expensive.

Power Supply Adapter or Switching Voltage Regulator

Form factor: Wall Plug
usually available for low current rating

Form factor: Desktop
usually available for high current rating


LED strip circuit is a relatively simple design. It is unlikely that you will damage the strip using a wrong rated power supply. Even if you connect the positive/negative priority in reverse, neither the strip nor the power supply will be damaged. The strip operates on 12V, and can tolerate minor voltage difference (10-13V). A voltage too high applied to the strip can damage the LED bulb.

There is a limit to how long the strip can be extended. 10m is the recommended maximum continous strip length. Extending it longer, you will find that the light intensity near the far end of the strip will become much dimmer than the other end that is near the power source. If your eye are sharp enough, you should notice the intensity difference within a 5m long strip itself. This flaw is due to the slim and narrow strip design (resistance), restricting the high current flow, preventing current to reach to the far end of the strip. The high resistance on the strip design also result in slight heat generated. This problem is more obvious with the high power strips.

You can improve the intensity at the far end of the strip by connecting the end back to the power supply. This will allows the current to reach the far end of the strip directly, without passing through the whole LED strips. To achieve a more consistant intensity, it is recommended to connect the strip in a shorter section of 2m each. Each 2m section should be connected directly to the power supply in a star wiring configuration.

The exact current consumption of the LED strips is slightly difficult to compute because of this flaw. Depending on the strip connection in series or parrallel the consumption can varies. The exact consumption can only be determine by a current meter. In general, the computation method as introduced eariler would be more than enough to drive the strip.

There are many type of strips, and they are usually classified by the following 4 characteristic.

- LED bulb size (5050, 3528)
- Number of LED per meter (30, 60, 120)
- Strip package (IP67, IP65, IP44, IP20)
- Color (Warm (2700k), Cool (6500k), other specific color)

The LED bulb or chip size 5050, 3528 is actually a number code for EIA standard footprint size. These standard footprint allows PCB designer to draw the correct pad size so the the LED can be mounted properly onto the PCB board. For some reason, these code has becomes a standard when ordering LED strips. 5050 actually also defines the LED size in two dimension 5.0 x 5.0mm. For 3528, LED size is 3.5 x 2.8mm. As a general guidance, 5050 LED has bigger chip size, and is expected to have a higher intensity (brighter) and wattage (consume energy) than the 3528 chip.

5050 led chip
(Brighter and consume more energy)

3528 led chip


IP code (Ingress Protection Rating) is standard define a series of code to label product's strength of resistance against dust and water.

 no cover

covered with epoxy
covered with silicon jacket
covered with expoxy & silicon jacket
(offer no protection from water)
(dustproof, water resistance, splashing water cause no harm)
(dustproof, waterproof)
dustproof, watertight, immersion into water

<- IP protection standard reference


There are also LED strip that can change their color making use of RGB LED. There are also special LED strip that can generate lighting patterns. These strips will require a LED strip controller to work.

RGB LED strip looks no different from a single color strip. The noticable difference will be the 4 wire connector (black, green, red, blue).These lines will be connected to the RGB controller on the left, to allow color control of the whole strip.

This is another RGB LED. It is different from the RGB strip above. This strip can generate a pattern of colors on the strip. This means that multiple color can co-exist on the strip at the same time. The strip can be differential by the IC chip embedded onto the strip itself. Click on the photo to see the enlarged strip below. You will see the black rectangular block which is the controller IC. This strip will also need an external delicated color controller to drive its color. The external controller usually comes in a form factor of a box.

- RGB pattern generating IC chip info



Below Kitchen cabinet

- Provide some light during the night time

Rised floor platform  

Cove lighting


Toilet, and behind mirrors

LED strips operate at 12V, and is safer than T5 tube which operates at 230Vac. A normal T5 tube is made of glass and contain mecury content. Installing T5 behind the mirror which is reachable can be dangerous, comparing to the LED strip. The LED strip when submerge in water will not result in electrical short circuit. This will not be true for T5 tube.




LED strips is slim and safe, allowing installation in tight space such as a closet or cabinet display.

Along or under the bed  

TV console  
Water features  

LED strips for aquarium. If the tank is deep, more strips may be required for the light to penetrate deep into the water.  
LED strip lights for plant  
Jewelry showcase  

PIR motion sensor accessories for LED strip  
LED strip installation guide  







LED driver

Typical LED driver rating



Typical LED driver specification.

No. of LED in series
LED watt
Driver spec
Typical driver size
1 1W 3-4V / 300mA 35x24x19
3 1W 9-15V / 300mA 35x24x19
5 1W 15-20V / 300mA 42x24x19
6-9 1W 18-35V / 300mA 65x27x21
9-12 1W 25-45V / 300mA 108x24x19
12-15 1W 30-56V / 300mA 122x24x19
15-18 1W 40-68V / 300mA 145x24x19
18-24 1W 60-90V / 300mA 155x32x24
12-18 1W 30-70V / 300mA 112x28x24
18-24 1W 60-90V / 300mA 140x28x24
24-30 1W 70-110V / 300mA 155x32x24
30-36 1W 90-136V / 300mA 158x38x30
1 3W 3-4V / 650mA 35x24x19
3-4 3W 9-15V / 650mA 108x24x19
4-5 3W 15-20V / 650mA 122x24x19
5-6 3W 15-25V / 650mA 145x24x19
7-8 3W 20-30V / 650mA 155x32x24
6-9 3W 18-35V / 650mA 112x28x24
9-12 3W 25-45V / 650mA 140x28x24
12-15 3W 30-56V / 650mA 155x32x24
15-18 3W 40-68V / 650mA 158x38x30








2. Various Lamps Technologies



This is meant to be a general reference for various lamp technology available on the market. The following information is not comprehensive for a detail one to one comparison.

Type of lightings technology LED Fluorescent Induction Halogen Incandescent Plasma HID
Full Name Light Emitting Diode           High-intensity discharge lamp
Typical Application Room lighting Room, High Bay, Hall lighting Room lighting Display cabinet General lighting High Bay, Hall, Street lights High Bay, Hall, Street lights
Typical Wattage 10W 40W 40W 50W 40W    

Electricity Energy Cost Per Day
see footnote.

$0.0662 $0.2649 $0.2649 $0.3311 $0.2649    
Electricity Energy Cost Per Year $24.16 $96.65 $96.65 $120.82 $96.65    

(assuming 24 hour operation per day, base on Singapore's Electricity Tariffs rate of $0.2759 cents as of Jan 2012)
Electricity Cost Per Year = Bulb Watt (W) x 24 Hour x 365 days 1000 x Electricity Tariff Rate ($/KWh)








Manufacturer for Halogen and incandecent lamp products.





3. Color Temperature


color temp

color temp


color index  



Defination used in Lightings

SI units
A unit of luminous flux; overall light output; quantity of light, expressed in lumens.

Lamp Efficacy ( Lumens Per Watt)

The number of lumens produced by a light source for each watt of electrical power supplied to the light source. See Efficacy.

A complete lighting unit which contains a lamp, housing, ballast, sockets and any other necessary components.
Luminaire Efficiency

The ratio of lumens emitted by a luminaire to the total lumens emitted from the light source within the luminaire.

Light reflected in a particular direction; the photometric quantity most closely associated with brightness perception, measured in units of luminous intensity (candelas) per unit area (sq ft or sq m)

A unit of illuminance equal to 1 lumen per square meter.
Ballast Factor (BF)
  It is the measured ability of particular ballast to produce light from the lamps it powers. It is derived by dividing the lumen output of a particular lamp/ballast combination by the lumen output of the same lamps on reference ballast. Hence, Ballast factor is the ratio of the luminous output of a lamp when operated on ballast to its luminous output when operated under standardized rating conditions. In other words, it is the percentage of rated lumens from the same lamp using commercial ballast as compared to ANSI reference ballast. Ballast factor is not a measure of energy efficiency. For example, a ballast factor of .96 means the commercial ballast produces 96% of light produced by ANSI reference ballast operating the same lamp. The ballast factor can be referred to in the catalogs from fluorescent or HID ballast manufacturers.
Ballast Efficacy Factor (BEF)
  It is the ratio of the ballast factor to input power of the ballast i.e. input watts. It identifies the efficacy of a lamp/ballast system in comparison to other systems using the same type and number of lamps. The higher the BEF within the same lamp-ballast type, the more efficient is the ballast. Unlike Ballast factor, it is the measure of efficiency of fluorescent lamp ballasts.



Color Temperature References:




4. Linear Fluorescent



Linear Fluorescent

Bulb Shapes

  • Circline
  • T5 (0.625" dia, 15.9mm)
  • T6
  • T8 (1" dia, 25.4mm)
  • T10
  • T12 (1.5" dia, 38.1mm)
  • U-bend





Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

Circular Fluorescent lampT5T6T8T10T12U-bend

Actual Length
Norminal Length (ft)
T8 & T12


Base Types

  • Miniature Bi-Pin
  • Single Pin
  • Medium Bi-Pin
  • Recessed DC

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

  miniture bi-pinsingle pinmedium bi-pinrecessed dc



5. Compact Fluorescent






compact fluorescent

Bulb Shapes

  • Single Tube 2-Pin
  • Single Tube 4-Pin
  • Double Tube 2-Pin/4-Pin
  • Triple Tube 4-Pin
  • Flat Quad 4-Pin
  • Double 15mm
  • PLL 4-Pin
  • BR38
  • R20
  • R30
  • R40
  • R40 Plug-In
  • A
  • G Globe
  • PAR20
  • PAR30
  • PAR38
  • B13
  • GU24
  • Spiral
  • Spiral Plug-In
  • T20




Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

Single Tube 2-Pin Single Tube 4-PinDouble Tube 2-Pin/4-PinTriple Tube 4-PinFlat Quad 4-PinDouble 15mmPLL 4-Pin

BR38R20R30R40R40 Plug-In


B13GU24SpiralSpiral Plug-InT20

Base Types

  • G23
  • GX23
  • GX23-2
  • G24q-1
  • G24q-2
  • G24q-3
  • G24d-2
  • GX24q-3
  • GX24q-4
  • GX24q-5
  • GX25d-3
  • 2G11
  • 2GX7
  • Medium E26 E27
  • E12


Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.



GX24q-3GX24q-4GX24q-5GX25d-32G112GX7Medium E26 E27E12

G24 lamp & socket G24 lamp



6. Halogen


Bulb Shapes

  • AR111
  • BR
  • BT15
  • J Type Tubular
  • JC
  • JD
  • T10
  • JDR
  • JDR/S
  • MB
  • MR
  • MR-DC
  • MR-GU10
  • PAR14
  • PAR16
  • PAR20
  • PAR30
  • PAR36
  • PAR38
  • PAR46 PAR56 PAR64

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

AR111 BRBT15J Type TubularJCJDT10



Base Types

  • Screw Terminal
  • DC Bayonet BA15d
  • G53
  • G6.35 or GY6.35
  • G8
  • G9
  • G4
  • GU5.3
  • SC Miniature Bayonet BA9s
  • GU10
  • Intermediate E17
  • Medium E26 E27
  • Mini-Can E-11
  • Mogul End Prong GX16d
  • Recessced Single Contact R7s
  • SC Bayonet BA15s

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.


Screw TerminalDC Bayonet BA15dG53G6.35 or GY6.35G8G9G4GU5.3

SC Miniature Bayonet BA9sGU10Intermediate E17Medium E26 E27Mini-Can E-11Mogul End Prong GX16dRecessced Single Contact R7sSC Bayonet BA15s

Filament Types

  • CC-2V
  • C-6
  • C-7A
  • C-8

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.




7. Incandescent


Bulb Shapes

  • A Arbitrary
  • BR Bulge Neck Reflector
  • B Cylinderical
  • CA8-CA10 Candelabra Base
  • B8-B10 Candelabra Base
  • CA8-CA10 Edison Base
  • ER Elliptical Reflector
  • B8-B10 Edison Base
  • F Flame
  • CA5 Candelabra Base
  • G Globe Candelabra
  • G Globe Medium
  • MB Mid-Break Reflector
  • PAR36 Parabolic Reflector
  • PAR Parabolic Reflector
  • PS Pear Straight Neck
  • R Reflector
  • S Straight Side
  • T Tubular

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

A ArbitraryBR Bulge Neck ReflectorC CylindericalCA8-CA10 Candelabra BaseB8-B10 Candelabra BaseCA8-CA10 Edison BaseER Elliptical ReflectorB8-B10 Edison BaseF Flame

CA5 Candelabra BaseG Globe CandelabraG Globe MediumMB Mid-Break ReflectorPAR36 Parabolic ReflectorPAR Parabolic ReflectorPS Pear Straight NeckR ReflectorS Straight SideT Tubular

Base Types

  • Screw Terminals
  • Slip-On Terminals
  • DC Bayonet BA15d
  • Cadelabra E12
  • E14
  • Intermediate E17
  • Medium E26 E27
  • Medium Side Prong
  • Medium Skirted E26/Skt
  • Mogul E39
  • Mogul End Prong

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.


Screw TerminalsSlip-On TerminalsDC Bayonet BA15dCadelabra E12E14

Intermediate E17Medium E26 E27Medium Side ProngMedium Skirted E26/SktMogul E39Mogul End Prong

Filament Types

  • C-2V
  • C-3A
  • C-5
  • C-6
  • C-7A
  • C-8
  • C-9
  • C-9M
  • C-13

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.




8. HID lamps (High-intensity discharge)

HID lamps

Bulb Shapes

  • A23
  • BT37
  • BT56
  • ED17
  • ED18
  • ED23.5
  • ED25
  • ED37
  • PAR20 PAR30L
  • PAR38
  • R40
  • T6 T7 T8 Double Ended
  • T6 T7 Single Ended
  • T15 T16



Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

A23 BT37BT56ED17ED18ED23.5ED25

ED37PAR20 PAR30LPAR38R40T6 T7 T8 Double EndedT6 T7 Single Ended T15 T16

Base Types

  • BY22d SC Bayonet
  • FC2
  • G12 Medium Bi-Pin
  • R7s Recessced Single Contact
  • POMB Position Oriented Mogul Base
  • EX39 Exclusionary Mogul Base
  • E39
  • E26 E27 Medium

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.


BY22d SC BayonetFC2G12 Medium Bi-Pin R7s Recessced Single Contact

POMB Position Oriented Mogul BaseEX39 Exclusionary Mogul BaseE39E26 E27 Medium



9. Specialty


Bulb Shapes

  • ALR
  • C7/C9 LED
  • G6
  • G7
  • MR11 LED
  • MR13
  • MR16 LED
  • PAR16 LED
  • PAR20
  • PAR30
  • PAR36
  • PAR64
  • PAR46 PAR56 PAR64
  • RP11
  • R12
  • S8
  • T1.75
  • T2
  • T2.5
  • T3
  • T3.25
  • T3.25/T5
  • T4 E11
  • T4
  • T4.25
  • T5/T6
  • T6
  • T7

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.


PAR36PAR64PAR46 PAR56 PAR64RP11R12S8T1.75T2

T2.5T3T3.25T3.25/T5T4 E11T4T4.25T5/T6T6T7

Base Types

  • E11 Mini-Can
  • E12
  • E17
  • E26 Medium
  • G4
  • G6.35
  • G5.3/GX5.3
  • G9.5/GZ9.5
  • P28s Medium Prefocus
  • R7s
  • SC Bayonet BA15s
  • DC Bayonet BA15d
  • SC Midget Flanged
  • SC Miniature Bayonet BA9s
  • Screw Terminals
  • Slip Terminals
  • Slide #5
  • Plastic Wedge
  • Wedge

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.


E11 Mini-CanE12E17E26 MediumG4G6.35

G5.3/GX5.3G9.5/GZ9.5P28s Medium PrefocusR7sSC Bayonet BA15sDC Bayonet BA15d

SC Midget FlangedSC Miniature Bayonet BA9sScrew TerminalsSlip TerminalsSlide #5Plastic WedgeWedge

Filament Types

  • C-2F
  • C-2R
  • C-2V CC-2V
  • C-6 CC-6
  • CC-7A
  • C-8 CC-8

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

  C-2FC-2RC-2V CC-2VC-6 CC-6CC-7AC-8 CC-8



10. Others



Bulb Shapes

  • A-15
  • A-19
  • A-21
  • A-23
  • B-10 1/2
  • B-13
  • BA-9
  • BA-9 1/2
  • C-7
  • F-10
  • F-15
  • F-20
  • G-16 1/2
  • G-25
  • G-40
  • P-25
  • PS-35
  • BR-25
  • BR-30
  • BR-40
  • R-20
  • R-30
  • R-40
  • RP-11
  • S-8
  • S-11
  • S-14
  • PAR-16
  • PAR-20
  • PAR-30S
  • PAR-30L
  • PAR-36
  • PAR-38
  • PAR-64
  • PAR-84
  • T-4 1/2
  • T-5
  • T-6
  • T-8
  • T-10

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.


Bulb Shapes

Base Sizes

  • Mini Cand Screw E11
  • Cand Screw E12
  • Intermediate E17
  • 3 Contact Med E26
  • Med Screw E26
  • Mog Screw E39
  • 3 Contact Mogul E39D
  • Mog Pf P40s
  • Med Skirt E26/50x39
  • Can DC Bay
  • Can SC Bay B15
  • 2-Lug Sleeve B22d
  • 3-Lug Sleeve B22-3
  • Med Pf P28s
  • Mogul BiPost G38
  • Screw Terminal
  • Disc Base
  • Single Contact
  • Med BiPost
  • Med Side Prong
  • Ext. Mog End Pr.
  • Mog End Prong

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

  Base Sizes









SBC B15d

BC B22d

Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.


BA15s BAU15s BA15d BAY15d


SBC B15d, BC B22d



ES E27


Singapore commonly used bulb shape & base is highlighted in bold font.

  MES E10, SES E14, ES E27, GES E40
A-Shape   A-Shape
Chandelier   chandelier
Globe   globe
GU10   gu10
PAR30   PAR30
PAR38   PAR38
R20   R20



  G4, GY6_35
MR16 G10   MR16 G10
MR16 G5.3   MR16 G4M16





Useful accessories for lamp installation



1) ETON Connectors




Graphics in this webpage are re-compiled from the following website:






Keyword: Lamps, LED, Fluorescent, Singapore, Energy saving, Bulb shape and base